BANGKOK, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- Thai caretaker Justice Minister Chaikasem Nitisiri on Monday warned Thais against joining anti- government protesters' planned operation to shut down the capital on Jan. 13.
The operation is illegal and dangerous, and those who join it will violate the law and bring turmoil to the country, Chaikasem said in a televised program.
There are also risks of people getting hurt in possible clashes during the operation, he added.
Several thousand police, including military police, will be deployed to maintain law and order during warm-up rallies planned on Tuesday and Thursday as well as the mass rally on Jan. 13, deputy metropolitan police chief Adul Narongsak was quoted by Bangkok Post as saying.
Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday said the government would continue to use the Internal Security Act (ISA), which is currently enforced in Bangkok and three adjacent provinces, to handle the shutdown operation.
The ISA empowers security forces to block roads, restrict access to areas or buildings and disperse demonstrators.
It would be the last resort to invoke the emergency decree, an even harsher legal measure than the ISA, to deal with the mass rally, according to Yingluck.
Yingluck also expressed her concern that the operation would undermine the country's economy.
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul revealed Monday that 143,800 Thais living abroad have registered to vote in the Feb. 2 general election.
The number is close to that for the 2007 election, which shows expatriate Thais are supportive of the upcoming election, Surapong said.
Thai protesters stage warm-up rally for Bangkok shutdown
BANGKOK, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's anti-government protesters on Sunday morning began a warm-up rally to mobilize more people to join a mass campaign planned on Jan. 13 to paralyze the capital.
Led by Suthep Thaugsuban, secretary-general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee, protesters started at about 10 a.m. a march of about eight km in downtown Bangkok. Full story
Video >>> Rising tensions put pressure on Thai military
Pro-gov't Thai Red Shirts to deter protesters' "Bangkok shutdown"
BANGKOK, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's pro-government Red Shirt activists said Thursday they will gather en masse and counter anti- government protesters who have planned to "shut down" the Thai capital on Jan. 13.
Chatuporn Prompand, leader of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, the official name of the Red Shirt movement, said on Thursday that Red Shirt members will keep Bangkok open as normal while former deputy premier Suthep Thuagsuban, leader of the anti-government protesters, planned to have his followers occupy its major streets, cut off power and water supplies at varied government premises and paralyze road traffic in the inner part of the capital. Full story